A Thief River Falls man was sentenced Tuesday, April 20 in Pennington County District Court to 110 months in prison for a felony charge of first-degree controlled substance crime – possession.
A felony charge of methamphetamine-related crimes involving children and vulnerable adults was dismissed against Robert Joseph Herigon, 34.
For the former offense, Judge Tamara Yon ordered a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms, ammunition, or explosives. Herigon was also ordered to supply a DNA sample. He was ordered to pay $135 in fees and fines.
The charges stemmed from an Oct. 14 report from a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension special agent, according to the complaint. He contacted a Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force officer regarding Herigon, who was the subject of an ongoing drug investigation conducted by the BCA and West Central Drug Task Force.
Through that investigation, it was determined Herigon was using the Wi-Fi at GrandStay Hotel in Thief River Falls a day earlier. The ongoing drug investigation also determined that Herigon sells large quantities of meth. The officer knew that Herigon had a felony warrant for his arrest from the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
The special agent told the officer that Herigon had fled twice from law enforcement agencies when they had attempted to arrest him on the warrant.
On Oct. 14, Police Chief Marissa Adam and the PTPDTF officer went to the hotel to determine if Herigon were there. In an undercover capacity, the officer walked past an occupied car in the parking lot. He thought the occupant looked similar to Herigon. A short time later, Herigon entered a hotel room. The room had been rented to a local woman, a known associate of Herigon.
The woman, who wasn’t charged in connection with this case, had been named in past drug investigations. The car was linked to the hotel room as well. The officer then obtained a master key for the room.
Adam, the officer, a police sergeant, and two police officers then went to the room. They found that the safety lock was engaged, so the officer acted as if he were with the hotel housekeeping staff and announced, “Housekeeping.” Herigon opened the door and then immediately slammed the door on law enforcement, who kicked the door to break the lock.
Herigon locked himself in the bathroom, and law enforcement forced open the bathroom door. He was attempting to dispose of a plastic bag in the toilet. It contained meth. Law enforcement then forcibly removed Herigon from the hotel room.
After finding the meth in the toilet and assorted drug paraphernalia in the bathroom, law enforcement was granted search warrants for the hotel room and the car.
The officer, a PTPDTF officer, the BCA special agent, a police sergeant, and a police officer then executed the search warrant for the hotel room. There, they found a total of 70.79 grams of meth in plastic baggies. A drug ledger containing names and what appeared to be dollar amounts was found as well. Also found were a glass meth pipe, $2,040 in cash (with $2,000 divided into two stacks with rubber bands placed around each stack); about 190 unused, packaged hypodermic needles; two baggies of marijuana; three baggies of miscellaneous prescription pills; some wax paper containing hash oil; two cell phones; a large bag of unused pill capsules; THC gummy bears; and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.
The complaint indicated that various drugs are often placed in unused pill capsules in order to sell the drugs. THC is an ingredient in marijuana. The second search warrant was executed for the car; however, nothing of evidentiary value was found. The woman had rented the car from Enterprise in St. Paul